In the eighth episode of NBC’s sparkly Broadway-dusted primetime soap Smash, entitled “The Coup,” the workshop for the Marilyn musical may be over but the drama is just beginning. As Ivy (Megan Hilty) waits for word that she landed her dream gig, her lover/director Derek (Jack Davenport) goes behind her back, recruiting Karen (Katharine McPhee) to help give Marilyn Monroe a 21st-century makeover (which means dancing naked, of course). Meanwhile, Eileen (Anjelica Huston) continues to fight (sans cocktails) her ex-husband Jerry (Michael Cristofer) over money with the help of her saintly daughter Katie (guest star Grace Gummer) and settles into her chic but bare apartment on the Lower East Side.
Fastest Home Makeover: The Columnist’s Grace Gummer breezes into town as Eileen’s daughter Katie, otherwise known as "Mahatma Katie" because according to Tom (Christian Borle), that girl’s “a saint.” After $3 million pops up in her trust fund, Katie realizes Daddy Warbucks must be “messing” with her mama. Unable to convince Jerry to give Eileen any “money to live,” Katie uses her international flair (and cold hard cash) to decorate her mom’s digs (Anthropologie, anyone?) overnight before heading to Alaska to count wild salmon and save the world one hideous throw pillow at a time.
Best Definition of a Producer: Until now, Ellis (Jaime Cepero) has simply been an opportunist with more passion for eavesdropping than romancing his girlfriend, Cyn (Condola Rashad). But the backstabbing assistant finally revealed his true ambition: to become a producer. Forget Tom, the man that gave him a chance: “He’s an artist, he’s a loser,” Ellis says, smirking. “Ivy too, she works her ass off for this workshop and nobody even gave her a call or the time of day. Artists get treated like dirt. I want to be producer.” And what do producers do, Cyn asks? “I am figuring that out,” Ellis blithely replies.
Most Glee-tastic Number: As Ivy Lynn, Bobby (Wesley Taylor) and the rest of the ensemble wait to hear if the Marilyn musical is “dead,” the gang decides to blow off steam with some ball busting at Brooklyn Bowl. Cue Sly and the Family Stone's “Dance to the Music.” Suddenly Smash goes into Glee mode as the crew forgoes bowling etiquette and the rules all-together, dancing in the lanes, pirouetting on furniture and singing into overhanging lights. Bring on the slushies!
Biggest Idol Connection: OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder guest-stars as himself and is hard at work on “Touch Me,” the song for Eileen and Derek’s “21st Century Fox,” a.k.a. their new and improved Marilyn musical. Ryan calls himself a fan of Karen’s after hearing her track “Brighter Than the Sun” for elusive music mogul Bobby Raskin, but in real life Ryan clearly has a soft spot for American Idol contestants: The Grammy-wining singer/songwriter has produced hits for former Idols Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and Jordin Sparks.
Strangest Take On Marilyn: Derek is hell-bent on giving Tom and Julia’s (Debra Messing) boring Marilyn a serious makeover. In order to make the character more “contemporary,” he enlists the help of Karen, and despite her initial hesitation, the Iowa girl quickly throws ethics out the window. Told by Derek to “not be afraid of the sex,” Karen ends up in a bedsheet/dress singing “Touch Me” on a bed surrounded by men in freaky Phantom of the Opera masks. (Clearly the new Marilyn is brunette with a penchant for auto-tune, cage beds and euro-trash video concepts.) After her routine fails to move Tom or Julia, Karen can only utter the word “sorry,” which pretty much sums things up.